Local exchange trading systems

Local exchange trading systems (LETS) are similar to time banks but differ in the way they are rewarded. Instead of simply earning credit hours for their contribution, LETS members earn units of a named currency, such as 'bobbins' or 'nuts'.

These are not necessarily earned on the basis of one unit for one hour's work, members with valued skills or experience may claim a higher rate of reward for their work. Moreover, the currency units can be exchanged for material goods such as vegetables, as well as for other members labour. LETSystems, however, can reveal the gross difference between various types of work and skills. People who are short in trade skills may accrue debts;requiring a management system so that these situations can be easily identified, and in turn, offering trade skills training. LETS also require careful management of the administration system, although packages now exist for micro-computers.